Community and election year - sometimes that seems like an oxymoron. I've been on the phone bank for Obama before this KY primary and I'm both amazed and encouraged by the number of people heartily concerned with the idea of our country as Community.
One woman said to me that she felt confused and apart from her neighbors regarding the election choices, that she wasn't a "political person" and maybe she just shouldn't participate because she didn't watch t.v. and wasn't really up on the issues.
What response is there to her and so many others who feel confused and manipulated by the media? She didn't feel comfortable speaking with her neighbors since people seemed so angry about so much. In the last eight years many of my friends have fallen into this trap - afraid of being labeled unpatriotic - and have kept still on decisions and policies that affect everyone. I was one of those, too. Afraid. That sums up the last eight years. Afraid of (and you can check all that apply): terrorists, Muslims, born-again Christians, radicals (yikes! how many things can we put in this huge category?),global-warming, food additives, the "Godless", the Other, rapists, bedlam, blacks, whites, Mexicans, illegals, guns, hurricanes, the government, Cary, Bush, Clinton(s), Obama, McCain, scientists, sharks, earthquakes....where is the end of the list?
The list is so long and burdensome that there is no space for home, no tiny increment of time for the possibility of Concensus, of movement toward what my grandmother used to call a "meeting of the minds."
Back to the woman from KY - and then, about ten minutes into the conversation, I heard her find Possibility, and the tone in her voice lightened. I could literally hear her walk into that space of What Might We Change if we wern't crouching in fear. That light of Possibility, the belief that you and I may not agree on many, many things but we could be willing to come together to talk, to find common ground encourages me to stand up and be counted.
Don't be afraid to recognize, to face, to admit that the Other (whomever that is for you) wants peace, family, home, compassion and hope - just as you do. Can you make the first step towards the Other, just to listen for the possibility of coming together? Let's, together, step out of the anger and darkness of Fear and into the power and energy of Possibility.